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Like saying goodbye to a home / by Victoria Ruiz

A friend tagged me on this video recently, of a building in the Bay Area crumbling to the ground. The wall was covered by a mural that read, "Born with Insight, Raised with a Fist." This was an important wall that many people in the Bay Area saw it as inspiration to break down the walls of White supremacy. 

I cried at the destruction of a space integral to our seashells of Black (Our) liberation that are left on the sands of the status quo. "There goes the neighborhood," the caption on the video read.

My mom had some beautiful pictures of this wall that she took when she was waiting around the corner from a crabapple show that I was at. She was waiting for me while I was at a show that was making me human. 

She and I loved the history of the action documented on this wall. The two men depicted -- Tommy Smith and John Carlos -- organized to lift their fists in the air as a way to take space of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics that would be part of the struggle for liberation of our minds, hearts, land.

"Two black American athletes have made history at the Mexico Olympics by staging a silent protest against racial discrimination," wrote the BBC in 1968. "Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medallists in the 200m, stood with their heads bowed and a black-gloved hand raised as the American National Anthem played during the victory ceremony."

They attended San Jose State University, my mom's alma mater. Like many poor in money rich in dreams black and brown people of the Bay Area, my mom too raises her fist in the air.

Seeing this wall fall down is like saying goodbye to a home. It was located on Mandela Avenue and 12th Street on a private lot in Oakland.

May this not leave us to nostalgia, but rather to questioning the destruction. 

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